At Moto-i in Minneapolis, we love sumo wrestling, and we are the best spot in the city to catch the Grand Sumo Tournament each and every year. We also have a Sumo Fantasy League where you can sign up and win cash prizes, happy hour specials, and more. We always have sake ready to serve and you can enjoy a cup of your favorite style while you watch your favorite rikishi try to dominate his opponent. If you’re new to sumo, this blog will help you understand some of the more common terms.

Terms to Know

  • Sumo – This is the national sport of Japan. The Japanese call it “ozumo” or “Grand Sumo,” which is where the tournament gets its name. The two wrestlers attempt to push each other out of the ring or cause any body part besides the soles of the feet to touch the ground. There are different divisions and prizes in the Grand Sumo Tournament.
  • Rikishi – This is the standard term for a sumo wrestler.
  • Heya – A “stable” of sumo wrestlers.
  • Dohyo – The clay ring where a sumo match takes place.
  • Gyoji – This is the term for the referee in a sumo match. The gyoji determines the points for each wrestler, and can disqualify a rikishi for committing any violations.
  • Chanko-nabe – This is the name of a special stew that is eaten by a rikishi. It combines fish, meat, vegetables, and noodles in a thick broth, and is often eaten with rice and beer.
  • Shiko – The technique of stamping the feet on the ground to strengthen one’s legs.
  • Yusho – A sumo tournament victory. The more “yushos” your rikishi has, the better your chances are of winning a Moto-i prize!
  • Zabuton – The cushion a rikishi sits on outside of the dohyo.

Building Your Sumo Stable

When you sign up for our Sumo Fantasy League, you’ll have the chance to build a “heya” or a sumo “stable.” You pick the rikishis you want in your stable and the more they win, the better your chances are to win a bigger share of the prizes. If you don’t know anything about sumo, that’s okay. You can pick a rikishi based on his name, or look at his record to see how he’s done in the last few tournaments. Moto-i will match your fantasy entry fee, which doubles the potential winnings for the prize recipients. First place receives 50 percent of the winnings, second places gets 35 percent, and third place goes home with 15 percent. If you can encourage your friends and family to enter, the amount will only go up!

If you’re looking for a new spot for happy hour, or you want to learn more about the sport of sumo, come to our restaurant and lounge today. We brew all of our sake on site, and you can try a complete lineup of different styles while watching the rikishis battle for supremacy.

We look forward to serving you the best sake and Japanese food in Minneapolis!

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